Apocalyptic scene in earthquake hit Turkey and Syria; 40 percent of people in one town could be gone

mass graves earthquake

Mathew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Important Takeaways:

  • No room for the dead as cemeteries in earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria fill up
  • Bodies are piled up in stadiums or car parks for identification; coffins are being brought in and mass graves dug
  • At least five imams have rushed to Nurdağı to officiate a ceaseless rush of mass funerals, sometimes for as many as 10 victims at once. Officials brought in deliveries of coffins from neighboring villages and as far as Istanbul to provide a final resting place for the overwhelming numbers of corpses arriving in the town.
  • Country’s worst natural disaster in a generation, the death toll has surpassed 21,000 and Nurdağı and towns across southern Turkey and northern Syria are scenes of apocalyptic levels of destruction.
  • “Forty per cent of the people who lived in this town could be gone,” said Sadık Güneş, an imam in Nurdağı.
  • Across northern Syria, people now living in tents in the snow began burning whatever they could to keep warm. Food and other basic goods remained scarce.

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In silence, Greek city buries coronavirus dead

THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) – Authorities in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki have dug dozens of graves for the victims of COVID-19 after a sharp increase in the number of deaths.

Greece has ordered a second nationwide lockdown after a spike in cases of the new coronavirus. By Thursday, it had recorded 111,537 cases and 2,706 deaths.

Thessaloniki, a city of about one million and where the first nationwide cases surfaced in February, has been particularly hard hit during the second wave.

“We didn’t encounter many cases in the first lockdown .. There were very few cases (then) and it wasn’t every day. These days it’s daily,” said funeral services provider Stavros Chatzivaritis.

“There are between five and eight funerals, almost every day.”

At the Resurrection of the Lord Cemetery in Thessaloniki, on the eastern side of Greece’s second largest city, many new graves have been opened. The Greek Orthodox chapel in the compound conducts funeral services, with pallbearers in full protective clothing.

The silence in its graveyard is punctured by the gentle chant of an Orthodox priest, or by the thud of the shovelled earth hitting the coffin, wrapped in plastic.

There are flowers, but grieving relatives are kept to a minimum and at a distance. “To my beloved,” wrote one on a wreath.

(Reporting by Alexandros Avramidis; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Janet Lawrence)